The church accommodated about 300 persons. It was lighted by means of four arch oil lamps which were intended to be supplanted by gas or electricity in the near future after completion of the building. It was heated by hot air from a Bermuda-Rochester, N.Y., furnace in the basement, placed by the Baum Brothers.
The plan of the building was the joint work of Rev. Lenhart, and the building committee, Monroe Berkheimer, George Boyd and Hiram Shafer, and partly from drawings furnished by Contractor Dise of Glen Rock. The stone work was done by George Spangler. The first coat of paint was a donation by Mr. Gentzler of East Berlin, and the finishing of the outside painting was done by John Fahs. The interior varnishing, etc. was done by S.C. Ilgenfritz, donating one-half of the labor. The memorial windows were secured by the pastor; also the money for erection of the building, assisted by members of the church. The building was mainly erected by the male membership after their day’s work was done.
A large number of members and other persons interested in the church contributed money for its erection. Material contributions included: J. Livingston and Jesse Deardorf, sand; A. H. Baughman, corner stone; H. R. Stauffer, J. Trosle and Wm. Eyster, sand; Z. Lauck, stone; Geo. and Burt Swartz, pulpit; Harry King, carpet; Harry S. Ebert, altar chairs; Wm. Blaebaum, altar table; Wm. S. Bond, chapel organ; Chas. Gross, iron work, etc.
Labor was contributed by W. Stough, G. Spangler, P. Redman, Geo. Beck, S.M. Baker, J.F. Senft, N. Maul, H.S. Brenneman, Albert Maul, Monroe Berkheimer, Geo. Boyd, H. Spahr, Monroe Zinn, Burt Swartz, A. K. Bupp, O. Bowzer, Jesse Deardorff, Mr. Gensler and Mr. Slaybaugh of Eberton.
A fine auditorium clock was purchased with funds from Virgie Maul and Sadie Brenneman.
The entire $3,254.70 cost of the building was provided for in cash and subscriptions by the time of dedication.
A York City directory for the year 1902 stated that church services were held at 10:30 A.M. and 7 P.M. Sunday School was held at 1:30 in the afternoon.
After serving the congregation for about two years, the Rev. Lenhart severed his relation with the congregation as pastor of St. James on June 1, 1902. Rev. C.F. Weist, of Milroy, Mifflin County, preached a trial sermon in the morning of July 15. Rev. Lenhart delivered his farewell sermon to a large congregation on Sunday evening, July 15 all of whom were closely connected with him in his work and fields as to deeply regret his departure. At the evening at the close of that service a congregational meeting was held and Rev. Weist was unanimously elected to succeed Rev. Lenhart.
On Sunday, August 24, 1902, the church elected a new pastor other than Rev. Wiest. A call was extended to Rev. C.F. Jacobs, of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Steelton, PA, who had created so good an impression on the congregation that he was elected pastor.
Rev. Jacobs assumed charge on September 1, 1902. A reception was held Friday evening, September 5 to welcome the new pastor and his wife. The gathering was attended by a large number of persons and was presided over by Daniel Rossman, a member of the church council. Rev. A.G. Fastnacht, D.D. of Union Lutheran church welcomed Rev. Jacobs and his wife on behalf of the congregation and fellow ministers of York. Music was furnished by the church choir and congregational singing. Refreshments were served at the close of the exercises.